Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Thirty Years

Yesterday marked thirty years since a certain incredible and beautiful lady said "I do" to me, and has, much to my perpetual amazement, stayed with me all that time. The actual day was a quiet one. Karen had to work, and we ate at home, so the only indication that anything was different was a pot of violets on the table and a card. A couple of days before, though, was a different story.

On Saturday we had a party at the resort where I work, in the area known as "The Barn" because, well, it used to be a barn, a couple of hundred years ago when the property was still a farm. We had food and drink for lots of guests. Didn't have that many guests, it turned out, but the quantity mattered far less than the quality, and we had a very good time.

Among our rarest of guests were our friend Sue and Brad, who drove up from Virginia to spend time with us, and our niece Katherine and her fiance Mike, who are now living in northern Massachusetts. Erin's parents and her sister also came for a while. We had a lot of opportunity to talk to everyone and it made for an unforgettable evening.

I sang two special sets of songs for Karen, using them to tell the story of how we met and how my singing made her notice me. Three of the songs I sang were specifically written for her. Karen loved the songs and the stories, and that meant the world to me.

But, as I said, a lot of people couldn't make it, most because of other obligations including work, some unfortunately because of issues of either personal or family health, and others because of distance. So we had a ton of leftovers, and that's why Karen and I ate at home on Monday, because we're trying not to waste food.

We will go out to celebrate, likely next week.

Meanwhile, having let a lot of things slide while preparing for the party, we're getting back to what passes for normal in our household. I'm scrambling to get William his driving hours so that he can take his license exam. As of this writing, he needs less than 14 hours but (and here's the catch) eight of them need to be after dark. He works evenings. Often I work evenings. Often Karen works evenings. It complicates things.

But that's life at the Brooks Bunch house. Complicated, with a lot of running around. But also with a lot of love and laughs.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Sad Good-Bye

Two years ago, our cat Sukkie nearly died from kidney disease. With some amazing help from our veterinarian and a lot of love and patience, we managed to keep her alive and reasonably happy, though annoyed at us for the frequent hydration treatments that took three of us to administer. But ultimately, her age and the disease were too much, and today we had to say good-bye.

Sukkie was doing fairly well until the winter, when she was finding it very difficult to stay warm, and being very picky about food. She lost a lot of weight, and the vet said that we might as well feed her whatever she wanted to eat, because keeping her happy was probably more important than controlling her diet.

That worked for her for a couple of months, and she got quite excited by her new diet of rotisserie chicken, roast beef, cottage cheese, turkey, and cream cheese, with some cat food thrown in.

But this month she took to hiding out on the rim of the bathroom sink, then on the counter next to the kitchen sink, and then in the kitchen sink. She wasn't nearly as interested in cuddling, and seemed to want to avoid a lot of stimulation. Yesterday, she vomited, and then just stopped eating. I think she was trying to tell us that she was ready to go.

The vet came to our house, and the four of us were present when she died. It was as peaceful as I would have expected from Sukkie, who fought through all of the two years of her disease. We all miss her very much.

This will be, for awhile, the first time our family has been without pets since 2003, when our dog Jenny got struck and killed by a car. It will take some getting used to, but it will probably be a bit longer this time before we take on another pet. We're glad to have given Sukkie a second chance, but it's been a long two years.